A Verdi opera fit for 2018

Toronto Life - - Cutlure -

Verdi’s tale of malev­o­lence and misog­yny is set in Re­nais­sance Italy. The COC’s take, how­ever, plays fast and loose with the show’s orig­i­nal in­ten­tions—some­times to stun­ning ef­fect, some­times ris­i­bly—trans­port­ing the story into a Vic­to­rian gen­tle­men’s club to prove that pow­er­ful men get their way no mat­ter the era. In this case, the au­thor­ity in ques­tion is the Duke of Man­tua, a lech­er­ous ruler who could pass for a 19th-cen­tury Trump or We­in­stein. He has his eye on Gilda (so­prano Anna Christy), the in­no­cent daugh­ter of the wicked-tongued court jester Rigo­letto (English bari­tone Roland Wood). The hunch­backed fool fails to keep Gilda safe from the duke’s preda­tory hands, lead­ing to one of the grimmest de­noue­ments in op­er­atic history.

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